Mechanists


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Mechanists

 

a group of Soviet philosophers of the mid-1920’s and early 1930’s.

The mechanists equated dialectics with modern mechanics and created a distinctive “mechanist” conception of epistemology, logic, and historical materialism. The group included I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov, A. K. Timiriazev, L. I. Aksel’rod-Ortodoks, V. M. Sarab’ianov, and V. A. Petrov. N. I. Bukharin, who laid claim to the leadership of the sociological school, allied himself with the mechanists. The ideas, of the mechanists were based on the introduction of positivist ideas into Marxist philosophy. The mechanists denied the independent role of philosophy, substituted the theory of equilibrium for dialectics, and denied the objective nature of contingency.

The views of the mechanists were criticized at several scholarly conferences and in public debates. In 1929, the All-Union Conference of Marxist-Leninist Scientific Institutions declared that mechanism was a distinctive revision of dialectical materialism (see Estestvoznanie i marksizm, 1929, no. 3, p. 211). The resolution of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) of Jan. 25, 1931, On the Journal Pod znamenem marksizma, defined mechanism as the most dangerous influence on the philosophical theory of those years.

In the early 1930’s, the principal representatives of the mechanist group renounced and criticized their erroneous views.

REFERENCES

“O zhurnale Pod znamenen marksizma: Iz postanovleniia TsK VKP(B)” In O partiinoi i sovetskoi pechati. Moscow, 1954.
Narskii, I. S., and L. N. Suvorov. Pozitivizm i mekhanisticheskaia reviziia marksizma. Moscow, 1962.

L. N. SUVOROV

References in periodicals archive ?
As per the FMP(R) plan, mechanists have the benefit of trading directly with P&WC for their working and maintenance requirements.
In Sterling's bestiary they alone are produced by hypertropism of Shaper genetics and Mechanist cybernetics, encased in a cybernetic shell after undergoing preparatory genetic transformations for motives only they can comprehend, although those seem to include feeding off the high they get from tuning into incomprehensible frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Instead, recent scholarship acknowledges that traditional medicine persisted in mechanist practice and that Malpighi can no longer be considered as an unadulterated mechanist physician; his medicine is indebted to traditional medicine and his understanding of physiological processes is rooted in chemistry.
In the case of clockwork, Descartes, Newton, and the eighteenth-century mechanists managed to shape a powerful vision that displayed the whole material world as one vast clock, claiming that the right way to understand any part of it was simply to find its "mechanism"--that is, the part of the machine that drove it.
The rhetoric of expectation from the Loebian mechanists is identical to that of the new generation of plant geneticists.
Consider Leibniz's extraordinary (attempted) reconciliations and harmonizations: Plato and Aristotle, Aristotle and the mechanists, Catholic and Protestant, Christianity and freethinking, East and West, the goodness of God and the evil of the world.
56) "The philosophies proposed by mechanists like Descartes and Gassendi explicitly reject the foundations of the Aristotelian system.
64) She and Thomasius should enable us (and her) to see that the reductionism of all the mechanists including Leibniz is incompatible with the holism of Aristotle's and Aristotelian teaching on form in natural, as opposed to artificial, compounds.
To mechanists the body is a collection of chemicals obeying general laws of chemistry, physics, and mechanics.
To mechanists the symptom is intrinsically harmful and must be removed or combated.
Mechanists characterize objects apart from their relations (especially causal relations such as attraction and repulsion) to other things (= in terms of their inner determinations = the properties they have by their mere existence [= merely by dint of being created by God] = as they are in themselves), but can purport to see why objects have the effects they do (for example, why they resist other bodies) given this characterization only by misconceiving a causal connection as a logical connection.
Long before the critical Kant insisted on the dualism of the sensible and the intelligible realms, the young Kant struggled to fuse the empirical-quantitative approach of Newton and the mechanists with the rational-qualitative perspective of Leibniz and the Wolffians.

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